While gas prices rose in Florida in the past week, according to AAA, on the whole they were lower in 2019 than in 2018.
According to a report from AAA released on Sunday, the average gallon of gas in Florida cost $2.46, up four cents from the week before and almost 30 cents higher than the end of 2018. That remains below the national average of $2.58 a gallon on Sunday.
AAA warned that prices could be even higher in the days to come.
“Gas prices could be dragged even higher this week,” said Mark Jenkins, a spokesman for AAA and the Auto Club Group. “The state average could soon exceed $2.50 per gallon, based on the current level of wholesale gasoline. Crude prices rose last week after U.S. crude supplies dropped more than expected. The fuel market also remains bullish over optimism of a possible US-China trade agreement. These factors have gas prices going opposite of their usual downturn this time of year. Even still, gas prices are hovering within the same range they’ve been in since August.”
Jenkins said he expected 2020 to start out much like 2019.
“Looking forward, gas prices in 2020 are likely to follow a similar trend as in 2019; with price hikes in the spring, then a steady decline through the fall,” Jenkins said. “Looking at futures prices, Florida gasoline could average around $2.50 per gallon in the first quarter, then jump 20-30 cents in the spring as refiners conduct seasonal maintenance and switch to summer gasoline. From there, gas prices decline slowly from July-September, then more rapidly through the end of the year. Based on current projections, Florida’s state average could finish 2020 in the $2.30 price range.”
Still, despite the recent rise in gas prices, AAA reported that, on the whole, prices were lower in Florida this year than last year.
“Gas prices in 2019 averaged less than the year before,” AAA noted. “Prices at the pump averaged nearly $2.50 per gallon in 2019. That’s 15 cents per gallon less than the annual average in 2018, but 13 cents more than what drivers paid in 2017.”
“In 2019, Florida gas prices peaked at $2.80 per gallon in April, and sank as low as $2.12 in January. The highs and lows of 2019 were more favorable to drivers than last year. In 2018, Florida gas prices peaked at $2.92 per gallon, and reached as low as $2.16,” AAA added.
The West Palm Beach-Boca Raton area had the most expensive gas in Florida with an average of $2.58 a gallon followed by Gainesville at $2.52 a gallon and the Sebastian-Vero Beach area at $2.51 a gallon.
Orlando and the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater market saw the least expensive gas in the state at $2.41 a gallon followed by Jacksonville at $2.42 a gallon.